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The New Zealand Rugby Union has developed the Small Blacks Development Programme specifically designed for children's rugby under the age of 13. 

The programme is designed to ensure that our children develop their rugby skills as their physical ability develops, making the game as simple and safe as possible for all kiwi children, regardless of their age, shape or size.

The Small Blacks Development Programme is made up of the following:

The SmallBlacks Development Model

Rippa Rugby

Compulsory Coaching Courses

The SmallBlacks Development Model 

The SmallBlacks Development Model was developed to ensure that there is a consistency of playing, coaching and player welfare at all levels throughout the country.  

It contains easy to follow guidelines for those involved in junior rugby on how the game is to be played at each age grade. It defines the skills that the players will learn at each stage of their development and promotes rugby as a fun and enjoyable sport.   The model is aimed to help give players the very best grounding in our national game.

There is a Small Blacks Development Model for various age ranges:

Under 6s - Under 7s

Under 8s - Under 9s

Under 12s - Under 13s

Rippa Rugby

Rippa Rugby is the new game for rugby players under the age of 13.  It is a very safe, non-contact, easy-to-play game for both boys and girls. 

While the rules are simple and the game easy to learn, Rippa Rugby promotes excellent ball-handling and running skills, and gives children a chance to participate in our national game.  The New Zealand Rugby Union recommeds Rippa Rugby as it will give the children a fun, safe and enjoyable sporting experience.

More details on Rippa Rugby

Compulsory Coaching Courses

The key factor to ensuring that rugby is safe and enjoyable for our children is the quality of coaching they recieve.  Therefore the New Zealand Rugby Union has developed compulsory Small Blacks Coaching courses designed to up-skill junior coaches on the approved safe techniques for coaching children in a specific age grade.

More details on Small Blacks Coaching Courses